Have you learned the lessons of the August war of 2008?

A little more than three years have passed since the transient Russian-Georgian war, and we can sum up some of its results. The war was amazing because people fought, the grandfathers and great-grandfathers of which beat the Hitlerite hordes together, stormed the beast's lair - Berlin. Still, the memory of people is transient. For President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, the 5-day war ended sadly, but one cannot say that he completely lost, otherwise his body would have hit the gallows in Tskhinval.

His army, equipped with powerful shock weapons (the United States, Turkey, Israel, Ukraine, a number of European states participated in its armament) and prepared according to NATO standards, ready to attack the self-defense units, clearing the territory of the population, could not withstand the impact the Soviet army (or rather, its remnants) of the Russian Federation. The Georgians fled without serious resistance, the equipment was abandoned, Tbilisi was saved from a victorious march of Russian troops only by the unwillingness of the political leadership of the Russian Federation to go on further confrontation with the West. This war showed that it is not enough to have good weapons, communication and control systems, training, beautiful form, one must also possess a certain spiritual core, a readiness to fight for one’s own - just cause, as the Russian army showed.

In addition, the provocation of Georgia showed that, contrary to the opinion of many Western and some Russian experts, that the Russian armed forces had completely disintegrated, this point of view is erroneous. The Russian 58 army managed to quickly respond, having managed to double the grouping of troops in South Ossetia by almost a day, despite the fact that there was only one road - Vladikavkaz — Tskhinvali (167 km). And in three days to create a powerful grouping of Russian forces and assets that were capable of effective military operations and causing the enemy a quick defeat, and the enemy grouping was not numerically inferior. Part of the Airborne Forces, armored groups proved themselves worthy.

The complete failure of Tbilisi’s foreign policy was expressed not only in defeat, but in the complete loss of the ability to preserve within its borders the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. For this, it is necessary to convince Moscow to remove its military bases from these republics, and then resolve the issue of the population of these de facto independent countries — this is only possible by military means, using the methods of genocide.

What negative did this war reveal in the Russian armed forces?

According to the head of the Military Forecasting Center, Colonel Anatoly Gypsy, several main weaknesses of our army can be identified. "There was no interaction between the clans and the types of troops on the battlefield." On the first day it was impossible to say that the Russian Air Force won the supremacy in the sky. And in general, the actions of aviation were limited, apparently due to political motives. This explains why there were no normal (in wartime) bombing of Georgian strategic facilities, communications centers, government bodies, etc. It should also be noted that the Russian Air Force had an acute shortage of high-precision weapons. Basically, the Air Force used conventional bombs and unguided rockets. In addition, the Georgian air defenses, with the help of Ukrainian military experts, shot down several of our aircraft. Practically there was no army aviation, therefore the armored vehicles went without air cover. There were no aircraft pilots in the troops, this did not immediately suppress the Georgian positions of salvo-fire systems and artillery. The Russian army actually remained aloof from the world breakthrough in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles: the Russian group consisted of only one middle class unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) - the Bee UAV. The Bee's range is only 60 kilometers, and the flight duration is 2 hours. This is clearly extremely insufficient for obtaining timely and continuous information about the position of the enemy.

“The weaknesses of the Russian army once again proved to be actions at night, reconnaissance, communications and logistical support.” Our group did not have a radar reconnaissance system for the positions of rocket launchers and artillery Zoo 1, which could instantly detect a flying projectile within 40 km radius and immediately determine the point of the shot, the position of enemy artillery. Therefore, the adjustment of the fire of our artillery went over the radio navigation and was not effective enough. Our old T-62 and T-72 tanks were outdated night sights, they did not have thermal imagers, navigation systems, or friend or foe systems.

In the opinion of Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, there was a failure in the field of foreign intelligence - the large-scale preparations of the Georgian army for August 2008 were missed, they did not know the time of the strike, they did not know the composition of the shock forces of the Georgian forces, Kiev, were able to upgrade the air defense system, that there was a qualitative modernization and strengthening of armored units of the Georgian army. And the main reason for this is that “the relevant functions of the top leadership of Russia were removed from those who have always been engaged in such intelligence - from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff. I was just amazed by this fact. ”

That is, there is a serious lag in the development of the Air Force, the sphere of UAVs, the latest electronic support for armored vehicles, communication and control systems. If our adversary on the Caucasian front were not the Georgian army, but a real enemy - like the Turkish army, then our army would wash with blood. It cannot be said that it would have been defeated (with approximately equal forces), but the losses would have been much more serious. Turks and air defense are better, and with aviation the order, training and motivation of the fighters is much higher than Georgian.

Lessons learned?

In appearance, the situation is not bad - Moscow realized that the army was outdated, there was an intensification of reform activities in the military sphere. The most radical and accelerated military reform began in our newest stories.

Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov believes that our army has become stronger in the tactical level, this was facilitated by the fact that the exercises began to be conducted more regularly and more often, the main combat unit became a more mobile brigade, rather than a division. But the problem remained at the strategic level: “there was a complete mess, so, I suspect, it remained”. The armed forces of the Russian Federation, both in the 2008 year, and now do not have normal foreign intelligence and supreme control - a potential enemy is not defined, it is not known for a potential war with whom it is necessary to prepare.

With the reduction of divisions, auxiliary units were also eliminated, which in peacetime can be out of place, but in war and in extraordinary circumstances are needed, such as, for example, pipeline battalions. None is still in the Ground Forces and Army Aviation.

Of the advantages, it should be noted that new weapons, Su-34, Ka-52, air defense systems, Iskander tactical missile systems, are being built into the troops, although they are in small batches. Although I want more, but there is a positive trend.

For three years, Georgia has fully restored its military potential with the help of almost the same countries and, in principle, can repeat if the situation is favorable. In foreign policy, Tbilisi is still focused on the United States. It expresses its readiness to help the Russian Federation prepare for the Olympics in Sochi in exchange for Moscow’s consent to the presence of international peacekeepers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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